William D. Provine, Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer | Delaware Innovation Space

Bill is a founder and currently serves as the first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Delaware Innovation Space in addition to an ex-officio member of its Board of Directors. In this role, Bill oversees all operations of the company and is responsible for its overall performance. Prior to joining the Delaware Innovation Space, Bill worked for DuPont where he led global operations for science and engineering encompassing DuPont’s open innovation practice that included oversight for DuPont’s innovation centers and regional laboratories around the world. He also has served in a variety of research, marketing, business development, joint venture, and manufacturing leadership roles in DuPont. Bill is very active in cultivating and advancing science across sectors and has served on numerous university, industrial, governmental, and scientific association advisory and management boards and committees.

Tim Mueller, Ph.D.

Vice President of Science & Technology and Director of the Research Institute | Delaware Innovation Space

Tim currently serves as Vice President of Science & Technology where he provides mentoring and technical support to entrepreneurs as well as leading the Research Institute as its first Director. Timothy is a classically trained chemist with 30 years of experience in an array of academic and industrial research positions coupled with strategic product and business development.  Prior to joining Delaware Innovation Space, Tim was the North American Research Leader for DuPont Science & Engineering Global Operations.  Prior to that role, Tim managed the Inorganic and Nanotechnology groups within Central Research & Development, and he has led photo voltaic and energy storage materials development projects and oversaw new product innovation methodology.  Prior to joining DuPont, Timothy was President and CEO of several start-up companies.

Jennifer Courtney, MBA

Director of Operations | Delaware Innovation Space

Jennifer currently serves as Director of Business Operations with over 20 years of experience in strategic planning, business analytics, and financial management. Jennifer is a powerful business partner whose entrepreneurial instincts and clarity of vision have enabled numerous companies to successfully navigate through both change and continuous growth. In prior roles, Jennifer was responsible for all aspects of back office operations including financial management and enhancing business processes and workflows. Jen holds an MBA in Finance from Villanova University, and a BS in Economics and Business Management from Cornell University.

Mike Braun

Manager of Laboratory Operations | Delaware Innovation Space

Mike currently serves as the Manager of Laboratory Operations. In this role, Mike is responsible for lab safety, chemical hygiene and facility maintenance. Prior to joining the Delaware Innovation Space, Mike spent several years working at the Experimental Station for Bayshore Transportation in a variety of operational roles. In prior roles, Mike maintained databases for Bayshore Records Management, and held a facility maintenance position with Chase Bank. Mike’s expertise includes all aspects of laboratory operations including building and laboratory equipment maintenance and IT system development and optimization.

Brianna Rafferty

Client Experience Manager | Delaware Innovation Space

Brianna currently serves as Client Experience Manager where she manages client support and community engagement and drives marketing and communications efforts. Brianna has a marketing background, having graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 2015 with a degree in Business Administration. Prior to joining Delaware Innovation Space, Brianna was the Director of Marketing for a startup company that combined technology with leadership development.

Pedro Amaral, Ph.D.

Laboratory Manager | Delaware Innovation Space

Pedro currently serves as a Laboratory Manager where he provides training, facility and instrumentation maintenance, safety and chemical hygiene. Pedro holds a dual BS in Chemistry and Interdisciplinary Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry/Materials Science. His expertise includes laboratory operations, synthetic chemistry and characterization of crystalline materials.

Hattie Duplechain, M.Ed.

Program Manager, Learning Experience | Delaware Innovation Space

Hattie currently serves as our Program Manager, Learning Experience, facilitating start-up programming and other training initiatives. She has over ten years of experience leading education and professional development.  Prior to joining Delaware Innovation Space, Hattie led incubator programming focused on innovation and social entrepreneurship for a global network of colleges and universities. Hattie holds an M.Ed. in International Education from Vanderbilt University and dual B.A. degrees in Communication Studies and English from Clemson University. 

Mike Patterson, MBA

Entrepreneur in Residence | Delaware Innovation Space

Mike currently serves as Entrepreneur in Residence for Delaware Innovation Space. Mike is a repeat deep tech entrepreneur who has served as Founder, CEO, and COO for companies in nanotechnology, advanced materials, sensors, and healthcare. Mike has over 20 years of experience across startup companies and multinational corporations leading organizations and teams in Innovation, Business Development, Product Management, Operations, and Change Management. Mike is a TechConnect National Innovation Award winner, holds an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, an A.B. in History of Science from Princeton University, completed the National Science Foundation I-Corps Technology Commercialization program at Stanford University, and is a Certified Patent Valuation Analyst.

Gail Ball

Entrepreneur in Residence | Delaware Innovation Space

Gail serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence where she brings her vast knowledge and networks of investors, investment philosophy, and financial expertise to help assist our startups.  Most recently, in her role as Associate Director, Horn Entrepreneurship, University of Delaware, she is leading the creation of a new Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative.  As employee #23 of venture capital industry disruptor, Alumni Ventures Group, she was the Founding Managing Partner of Chestnut Street Ventures and the AVG Women’s Fund and AVG Social Impact Fund for which she raised nearly $20MM and invested in over 75 companies across all sectors and stages.  In industry, she served as COO of The Bancorp Bank, the innovative banking solution provider for the most recognizable names in digital banking. She also filled executive roles at PNC, Chase, Capital One, and NCO Financial Systems. In addition, Gail headed the Payments Studies Group at the Richmond Fed and served as Board Member and Risk Committee Chair at Kompanion, Inc., one of Central Asia’s largest microfinance institutions. Gail earned her BS in Economics, Finance, and Statistics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


Peter Melley, J.D., M.S.

Entrepreneur in Residence | Delaware Innovation Space

Peter serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Delaware Innovation Space.  Peter has twenty years of experience in several capacities in the start-up ecosystem, including investor, legal counsel, entrepreneur, and bench trained scientist.  Most recently, Peter served as the Director, New Ventures for the University City Science Center, where he directed two investment programs providing venture capital to emerging-state technologies. He performed due diligence, market analysis, financial forecasting, and gap analysis for investments and then leveraged that information to invest and manage approximately $7 million in related programs and funds. Previously, Peter practiced with two global law firms and as in-house counsel, where he crafted his skills representing venture capital, private equity, mezzanine, and other public and private companies in a wide range of life cycle transactions including structuring formations, funding, and stock offerings. He counseled investment advisors, private fund managers and investment companies on compliance issues. He also drafted service contracts; employment, sales, purchase, and non-disclosure agreements, and option grants. Peter holds a B.S. in Biology from The American University, and a M.S. in Biotechnology and a  J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Will Cruz

Entrepreneur in Residence | Delaware Innovation Space

Will Cruz currently serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Delaware Innovation Space. Will is a proven entrepreneur and global investor committed to accelerating innovation returns and venture funding through corporate and institutional capital.  He is recognized for building exceptional founder talent and supporting them as they validate their start-up concepts.  Will’s experience stems from being a 5x entrepreneur with meaningful exits and as an Entrepreneur in Residence to several notable universities around the globe. 

Board of Directors

Charles Riordan, Ph.D.

Chair, Board of Directors | Delaware Innovation Space
Vice President of Research, Scholarship, and Innovation | University of Delaware

Dr. Riordan is responsible for advancing the University of Delaware’s research enterprise, including oversight of six University-wide research institutes. He is an inorganic-organometallic chemist whose research is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Alexa Dembek, Ph.D.

Secretary, Board of Directors | Delaware Innovation Space
Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer | DuPont

Dr. Dembek joined DuPont in 1991 as a research chemist and currently is the Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer for DuPont. Over her career, Alexa has held a diverse set of roles that have included global business leadership and a broad range of end-to-end innovation experiences.

Jeff Bullock

Treasurer, Board of Directors | Delaware Innovation Space
Secretary of State | State of Delaware

Jeffrey W. Bullock was sworn in as Delaware’s 80th Secretary of State on January 21, 2009 and re-confirmed by the Delaware Senate on January 18, 2017. As Secretary of the most diverse department in state government overseeing nearly twenty different agencies.

Dennis Assanis, Ph.D.

President | University of Delaware

Dr. Assanis is the 28th President of the University of Delaware. He was elected to the position by the UD Board of Trustees and took office in June, 2016. Dr. Assanis is a distinguished educator, academic leader, scholar and expert in internal combustion engines and energy systems.

Albert Shields

Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy | State of Delaware

Albert Shields currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy for Governor John Carney.  In this role, Albert oversees a team of policy advisors, both within the Office of the Governor and in Delaware’s state agencies, who are responsible for developing and implementing the policy priorities of the Governor.

Alexander Khutorsky

Director, Mergers & Acquisitions | DuPont

Alex is a Director at DuPont, where he works with the company’s many businesses to help develop and execute on portfolio strategies.  Prior to joining DuPont in 2019, Alex was an investment banker and corporate attorney specializing in mergers and acquisitions. Over the course of his career, he has advised business leaders and entrepreneurs pursing a diverse set of business models across a broad range of industries.

Entrepreneurial Advisory Council

Vanessa Z. Chan

Professor | Material Science & Engineering and Innovation & Entrepreneurship at UPENN Partner | Robin Hood Ventures

Cheryl Martin

Founder | Harwich Partners Former Director | ARPA-E

Saeed Amidi

Founder and CEO | Plug and Play Tech Center and Ventures Partner | Amidzad Ventures

Michael Burychka

Founder and CEO | IP Group, Inc.

John Carlisle

Director | Chain Reaction Innovations at Argonne National Lab

Frederick (Rick) Jones

Partner | BioAdvance

Purnesh Seegopaul

General Partner | Pangaea Ventures

Ben Solomon

Founder and Managing Partner | FedTech

Robert Urban

Former/Retired Global Head | Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LLC

Andrea Wesser-Brawner

Senior VP of Strategy and Partnerships | InBIA, International Business Innovation Association